VANCOUVER Police Department on Friday announced the promotion of Fiona Wilson from superintendent to deputy chief constable and the promotion of inspectors Lynn Noftle and Tanya Whysker to superintendent.
This marks the second time in the VPD’s history where a female officer has led in a deputy chief role.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything these leaders have accomplished so far in their exemplary careers in public safety,” said Vancouver Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer. “We’re in a pivotal time in policing and we must continue to earn the trust of the communities we serve. Thanks to their demonstrated leadership and skills, community-focus, and commitment to public safety, I know our newly promoted executive members will continue to build on the work that has been done to advance trust and confidence in the VPD.”
Wilson, a 22-year member, will head up the Investigation Division within the VPD. She replaces Deputy Chief Laurence Rankin, who announced his retirement earlier this year. The assignments for superintendents Noftle and Whysker will be confirmed in the coming days. One superintendent will replace Superintendent Steve Eely on the executive team, as he retires this month for a role in the private sector, and the other will fill the vacancy left by Wilson’s promotion.
“I want to offer my sincerest thanks to Deputy Chief Rankin and Superintendent Eely for their decades of service,” said Palmer. “Both are well-respected and accomplished leaders in Canadian policing. Deputy Chief Rankin has played an instrumental role in advancing the VPD’s successful Investigation Division and introducing new and innovative investigative policies, while Superintendent Eely has been a key operational expert and leader for us.”
The VPD has three deputy chief constables who oversee three divisions: Operations, Investigation, and Support Services. The VPD’s seven superintendents report to the deputy chief constables. One superintendent is currently seconded to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC. Five of the 13 members of the VPD executive team are female.
DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE FIONA WILSON
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Wilson (DCC Wilson) has been a member of the VPD since 1999. She began her career as a patrol constable in several operational districts and “walked the beat” in the Downtown Eastside. Early in her career, she also worked as an investigator in the Sex Crimes Unit and on two major projects that successfully disrupted regional organized crime groups.
In 2007, she authored the VPD report “Lost in Transition.” The report highlighted a lack of capacity in the mental health system for some of the most vulnerable people in Vancouver. The report was well received and highly-regarded and led to her presenting to audiences in Canada and Asia.
Upon promotion to sergeant in 2009, DCC Wilson returned to the Operations Division and was later assigned to the Professional Standards Section. In 2012, she joined the Major Crime Section as a sergeant and went on to work with the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit as a team leader in charge of an international drug investigation.
In 2016, DCC Wilson was promoted to staff sergeant and served in the General Investigation Section. Upon promotion to inspector in 2017, she worked as the officer-in-charge of Court and Detention Services. DCC Wilson implemented improvements in training and policy and led a comprehensive review of the Jail Manual of Operations. In addition, she initiated and coordinated a major upgrade of the Vancouver Jail facility, which processes more than 16,000 people each year.
DCC Wilson was promoted to superintendent in March 2019 and represented the VPD on secondment as a deputy chief officer with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-BC). In January 2021, she became superintendent in charge of Investigative Support Services.
DCC Wilson was appointed to the Order of Merit of Police Forces in 2020. She has received five VPD commendations, the 2008 Communications Award from the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, the 2008 Richard Dolman Award from the B.C. Schizophrenic Society, the John Kable Young Justice Professional Memorial Award and a Meritorious Service Award. DCC Wilson is a provincially accredited Team Commander. She holds both bachelor and master of arts degrees in criminology from Simon Fraser University.
SUPERINTENDENT LYNN NOFTLE
Superintendent Lynn Noftle began her career with the VPD in 1998, after graduating as valedictorian of her class at the Justice Institute of BC. After working as a constable in District 1 for five years, Inspector Noftle transferred to the Drug Unit where she garnered four years of investigative experience. Inspector Noftle was also a School Liaison Officer for four years and returned to patrol as an acting sergeant for the a Beat Enforcement Team in 2011.
In 2012, Supt. Noftle was promoted to sergeant. She was selected to develop and implement the Community Safety Program a year later. She transferred to the Mental Health Unit in 2014. Supt. Noftle was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 2016 and assigned to the Youth Services Section. Supt. Noftle was promoted to inspector in 2017 and remained in the Youth Services Section. In 2019, Supt. Noftle was transferred to her current position as inspector of District 2.
Supt. Noftle is the recipient of a Chief Constable Unit Citation, two Deputy Chief Constable Unit Citations, and a Deputy Chief Constable Citation. Supt. Noftle worked as an architect and a physiotherapist prior to policing and enjoys training her golden retriever in her spare time.
SUPERINTENDENT TANYA WHYSKER
Superintendent Tanya Whysker joined the VPD in 1997. She began her policing career by working in districts 3 and 4 and has completed assignments in Strike Force, Robbery/Assault, CFSEU-BC, School Liaison and Youth Services. Supt. Whysker has been the lead on numerous high profile and complex investigations.
In 2016, Supt. Whysker was promoted to sergeant and was assigned to the Professional Standards Section. She was then transferred to the Sex Crimes Unit where she led a team, and supervised VPD detectives assigned to the Child Youth Advocacy Centre. In 2019, Supt. Whysker was promoted to staff sergeant and assigned to the Professional Standards Section. Upon promotion to inspector in 2020, she remained in the Professional Standards Section as a designated Discipline Authority until her most recent assignment as inspector in the Human Resources Section.
Supt. Whysker is an active member of the VPD Critical Incident Stress Management Team and continues to support colleagues in Peer Support. She is also a member of the VPD Women’s Personal Safety Team and volunteers in her community as past-president of the non-profit highland dancing organization.